Monday, April 30, 2012


A Roman General suppresses a rebellion and averts a food shortage crisis at the expense of the people. When he is hailed in the Senate and nominated for consul, the people reject his bid, and the newly dubbed Coriolanus bitterly retreats in exile to take up arms with the very foe he once so viciously battled. For his directorial debut, Ralph Fiennes, along with acclaimed screenwriter John Logan, chose to adapt one of William Shakespeare's lesser known (and more violent) works and transplant it to a modern setting while retaining the original language. In the lead role, Fiennes is powerfully fierce as the proud and determined general and surrounds himself with an extremely fine cast, including Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox, and Jessica Chastain, all of whom passionately emit the Bard's words (the exception is Gerard Butler, who I'm not quite sure why he was cast in a crucial part as Fiennes' rebel enemy). The film does not have any great cinematic value, and is shot in a rugged, digital format, and I'm not quite sure the modern setting was necessary as well. "Coriolanus" is the kind of film that would probably play better on the stage, but in this format, the eloquence of the words and the strength of the acting cannot be denied.